Thursday, July 05, 2012

How to Pitch Agents at a Writers’ Conference

How to Pitch Agents at a Writers’ Conference

Harder than it sounds: "And don’t ramble!  Be prepared with a few well-practiced, succinct sentences that sum up your book.  Envision this summary as a taste test.  Give her one bite of filet, a single morsel of chocolate, one small sip of wine.  Make her want more. Tantalize.  Tempt.  Tease.  Be excited.  Let your enthusiasm and passion for your work show." How exactly does one arrive at this? How does one prepare the "succinct sentence"; how long should it be, how much should it say, is it a summary of the book in a nutshell?

What a Novel Can Do That Film and TV Can’t (Plus, Win a Free Copy of Office Girl!)

What a Novel Can Do That Film and TV Can’t (Plus, Win a Free Copy of Office Girl!)


"Unlike film, unlike television, unlike the dramatic play, a novel can focus on the narrow confines of a particular relationship, it can create an intimacy between reader and characters in a way almost no other narrative medium can. Maybe it’s because a novel is not actually finished until the reader the words and actively imagines their meanings, "

Should You Ever (ever) Pay to Have Your Work Read?

Should You Ever (ever) Pay to Have Your Work Read?

I agree however, I am submitting work to carefully researched poetry and screenplay contests as well as looking for an agent. Will it come to anything?

Academic Services - Penguin Group (USA)

Academic Services - Penguin Group (USA)

Videos, Author Interviews and Book Trailers - Multimedia - Penguin Group (USA)

Videos, Author Interviews and Book Trailers - Multimedia - Penguin Group (USA)

Community Home - Penguin Group (USA)

Community Home - Penguin Group (USA)

Book Clubs - Penguin Group (USA)

Book Clubs - Penguin Group (USA)

Browse - Authors- Penguin Group (USA)

Browse - Authors- Penguin Group (USA)

Publishers - Penguin Group (USA)

Publishers - Penguin Group (USA)

Remembering Nora Ephron: Before all the Hollywood Success

Remembering Nora Ephron: Before all the Hollywood Success


“Well, it’s just that my point of view happens to be faintly cynical or humorous—and just the way I see things and that’s how it comes out when I write it.
“You better make them care about what you think. It had better be quirky or perverse or thoughtful enough so that you hit some chord in them. Otherwise it doesn’t work. I mean we’ve all read pieces where we thought, Oh, who gives a damn.”

The 8 Essential Elements of a Nonfiction Book Proposal

The 8 Essential Elements of a Nonfiction Book Proposal

The 13 Trickiest Grammar Hang-Ups

The 13 Trickiest Grammar Hang-Ups

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Years ago we bought a home, supposedly to retire in but because of the economy John, my husband, insisted we must let it go, I was on the fence about it. 

When without pressing,  the lender, low and behold, gave us a great deal I said to John, just before he left to do some food shopping,  “Think about all the possibilities open to us”. John came back and said, “We are moving to Hummingbird." That is the name of the street the house we were walking away from is on. I wondered what had John shopped for.



In less than a month, Hummingbird is the house we are going to live in, maybe for the rest of our lives, and that is a hard move. The place is farther away from our families; it already feels lonely. However, it is a community with so much to do that we hope our family and friends will love to visit.


What I loved about it when we first bought it still inspires me: the abundance of nature and trees and wonderful views. There I hope to write a lot and maybe even learn to paint and one day play an instrument. Is that too much to ask for in my golden years: I think not. 

Thinking about colors schemes and décor I said to the contractor that will do some renovating, and the painter, "I wanted a sort of Spanish/Moroccan/Asian style" (well it goes with my eclectic collection from years of finds and gifts).

Tonight, I could not sleep. Should be writing an article to submit - I was warned with termination for not submitting copy for over a month - nevertheless, here I am thinking about the home we are letting go. Looking around, packed boxes that soon will be taken with everything by a moving company meld in the darkness. In the darkness, it looks so empty of things but so full of the memories of events that flowed in and out in years: family gatherings, graduations, weddings, births and funerals.

To curtail my sadness I decide to give our Hummingbird home a name, connect with it. I love hummingbirds and started to look at pictures and files online. In doing a search I came upon a hummingbird from my native Nicaragua, the beautiful Guardabarranco Colibri. Our house is on a steep hill and Guardabarranco translates thus: “guarda” guard, save, or keep safe, and “barranco” is ravine. What a coincidence, the one thing that makes me nervous about the hummingbird house is that it is perched on a steep hill, that could be considered a ravine, and I find a name of a hummingbird that means keep the ravine safe. 

I don't even remember that hummingbird! We will name our new home "Casa del Guardabarranco Colibri". Of course, most will not be able to pronounce it and many will make fun of it... until they learn to love it. The Guardabarranco Colibri is Nicaragua's National bird and is plumed in colors I love.

Here is a photo of the Guradabarranco Colibri:









Curtesy of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_birds_of_Nicaragua

Dame tu luz Nicaragua | By Nicaragua Channel

Dame tu luz Nicaragua | By Nicaragua Channel

Ser canción en el viento: Guardabarranco - Colibrí (Nicaragua)

Ser canción en el viento: Guardabarranco - Colibrí (Nicaragua): COLIBRÍ En el jardín de Dios creció una flor que un colibrí sintió voló sobre la tierra campos de paz y guerra pero no encontró su ...